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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Allen County, Indiana

Allen County and the city of Fort Wayne have merged their 911 call centers to create the Consolidated Communications Partnership of Allen County and Fort Wayne (CCP). It receives approximately 750,000 emergency calls a year. Previously, the call centers were located adjacent to each other, but were separated by a glass wall.

One hundred and twenty 911 dispatchers worked in Fort Wayne in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Their average salary was $38,350 a year—substantially higher than the average salary for Indiana workers overall.

Here is a step-by-step guide to join these professionals and become a 911 operator for Allen County and Fort Wayne.

Meet the Requirements for Employment in Allen County
Obtain the Necessary Education and Training
Complete the Application Process
Undergo on the Job Training and Obtain Certification

 


 

Step 1.  Meet the Requirements for Employment in Allen County

There are highly specific requirements to become a 911 dispatcher in Allen County.  Applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Have a high school education
  • Be able to type 45 words per minute
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Possess normal hearing ability
  • Have good vision
    • Each eye must have at least 20/100 vision without correction
    • Vision must be at least 20/30 after correction

 


 

Step 2.  Obtain the Necessary Education and Training

The job description for becoming a 911 operator for Allen County indicates that applicants for this position must have a practical knowledge of law enforcement, fire, and Emergency Medical Services demands in the area.

One way for applicants who have not previously worked in this capacity to obtain this type of training is to obtain a formal degree or certification in one of the following areas:

  • Criminal justice
  • Law enforcement
  • Fire science
  • Emergency medical training

Prospective students in Allen County can obtain a degree in one of these areas from local schools or from one of the many online schools that offer degrees in these areas.

 


 

Step 3.  Complete the Application Process

You will need to apply online when dispatcher positions for the county are being advertised.  You will need to take the following steps:

  • Create an account
  • Fill out the application
    • Make sure to save it
    • Click submit

The county will send you an email when your application has been received.  This is the only notification you will receive until the department has decided to consider hiring you.

Once you have been chosen, the department will contact you.  You will undergo the following steps:

  • Interview
  • Background check
  • Physical exam
    • Tests on your hearing and vision will be part of this examination

 


 

Step 4.  Undergo on the Job Training and Obtain Certification

Once you have been hired, the department will thoroughly train you to answer 911 calls, collect information from the callers, and dispatch police, emergency, and fire responses.  You will complete all in-service training within 18 months of being hired.

In addition to taking a variety of 911 calls, the CCP specifically trains its 911 operators to rapidly collect precise information when children have been abducted or are in other types of danger.  All operators were trained through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the spring of 2013.  Thirty-five 911 calls for missing children were made to the call center in 2012.

911 dispatchers in Allen County will also have to become certified to use the following computer systems:

  • IDACS:  Indiana Data and Communications System
  • NCIC:  National Crime Information System

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